Manchester United have been handed something of an injury boost prior to their second Premier League outing of the season against Swansea City on Saturday (19 August) lunchtime, with Paul Clement confirming that the match will come too soon for key striker Fernando Llorente.
Llorente fractured his lower arm while cycling on a family holiday in July and although the issue did not require surgery, it was still expected to keep him sidelined for the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
The Spaniard sat out several pre-season meetings and also played no part in last weekend's goalless draw at Southampton.
Llorente made a very welcome return to the training field on Tuesday, but Clement confirmed that he will not be ready for the the visit of Jose Mourinho's much-improved United to the Liberty Stadium.
The 32-year-old is also unlikely to play any part in a second-round Carabao Cup fixture against MK Dons but could feature at Crystal Palace on 26 August.
If that trip to Selhurst Park is still too early, then Llorente will have an extra fortnight to rebuild his match fitness before post-international break meetings with Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and West Ham United.
"It's good to have him back involved," Clement was quoted as saying by Swansea's official website. "We will see how quickly we can get him fit to play, but he will not be ready for Manchester United. Crystal Palace is a possibility. We will see.
"Because of the nature of the injury to the arm, he lost a lot of upper-body bulk. He managed as well as possible to maintain his cardio-fitness but he is going to have to rebuild that upper-body strength which he wasn't able to work on while the arm was fractured. We will take it day by day with him. Hopefully he will respond well to the training and will be available soon."
Llorente proved a huge hit in South Wales following his move from Sevilla in August 2016, scoring 15 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions to help Swansea emerge from a difficult campaign encompassing three different managers with their top-flight status intact.
He only signed a two-year contract upon arrival and long-term interest from former Juventus boss Antonio Conte had supporters fearing that he could make a summer switch to Chelsea. However, Clement has expressed confidence that he will stay put beyond the end of the window.
"He has got a year to go on his deal and we'd like him to stay for this year and longer," he said last week. "I'm confident he will because of the conversations I've had with Fernando. He's happy here, he likes the work we're doing, and he likes the way we play.
"He's a really good player and it's a shame with the injury he got in the summer. It's a freak one and he did finish off the season strongly. His goals were vital and we want to have him as an option."
Swansea will also be without Gylfi Sigurdsson for their game against United with the influential Icelandic playmaker finally completing formalities ahead of a high-profile £45m ($57.9m) transfer to Everton. Midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng (knee) and winger Nathan Dyer (achilles) remain unavailable.